Rajasthan Royals did not play a single IPL 2014 match at their home ground in Jaipur © IANS
Mumbai: May 26, 2014
Rahul Dravid felt that the Rajasthan Royals (RR), who could not play a single game in their home base of Jaipur after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 authorities fixed them at Ahmedabad, missed out on that huge advantage which Mumbai Indians (MI) enjoyed at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai stunned Rajasthan to qualify for the IPL 7 playoffs on Sunday at Wankhede Stadium. The home side chased down a daunting 190-run target in only 14.3 overs to better their net run-rate. Mumbai finished fourth in the IPL 2014 Points Table and pushed Rajasthan to No 5.
“One of the disappointing things was the incredible home advantage made in a place like Mumbai Indians [home venue]. They had that, we did not really have a home venue. We have had fantastic results in Jaipur before, but we did not have that [this season]. We tried to make Ahmedabad our home venue as best as we could.”
Dravid said the dip in his team’s performance towards the end of the round robin stage was crucial to their missing the bus. “We did not play well in the last three games. We batted beautifully today [Sunday], but have not bowled well in the last three games.”
About the changed batting order in the game, Dravid said the team felt it needed some more power upfront and that was the reason for captain Shane Watson to open the innings with Sanju Samson.
“We probably needed a little bit more runs and power upfront and thought we will go with Watson and bat Karun Nair and Jinx [Ajinkya Rahane] later against spin.
“Sanju and Karun batted really well so that James Faulkner and Brad Hodge could come in and blast away from 14-15 overs just after the spinners had finished their quota. It worked well for us.”
Dravid looked at the plus points from the 2008 winners’ unsuccessful campaign this year.
“There were a lot of positives. We played well enough to qualify, but missed out marginally on net run-rate. The performance of Sanju and Karun Nair were exceptional. Ankit Sharma and Rahul Tewatia showed potential for the future. Even [Australian] Steven Smith showed he can be a force to reckon with in the future.”
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